As Mad Men prepares to wrap its final season next spring, series star Jon Hamm admits he has no idea what he’ll do next.
“There’s no road map for this,” the 43-year-old says of his acting journey. “You look at someone like Matthew McConaughey — ten years ago, you wouldn’t have said he’s going to be an Oscar-winning actor, you know? The guy from Failure To Launch? You’d have been laughed out of the room.
“You look at a person’s success like that and think: God speed. And hope you’re given the opportunity,” the Golden Globe winner adds. “It’s hard because Hollywood is a lot of things, but it’s not the biggest risk taker.”
A struggling actor for more years than not, Jon’s big break came at age 36 when he was cast to play ad executive Don Draper on the AMC series.
“Flick through the TV guide in the Nineties — I auditioned for every one of those shows,” Jon reveals of his early years in the business. “It wasn’t just my looks. My energy wasn’t right…I had to grow into being hireable. People said to me, ‘Just wait until you’re 40.’ I was like, 40?”
Now the star can’t go anywhere without being recognized. “I can literally be walking through Central Park and every third person will be like, ‘Can I have a kiss?'” he shares. “It doesn’t make you feel good. I’m like: ‘how were you raised?'”
But Jon knows better than anyone how difficult it will be to say goodbye to his iconic character. “We all want to know what that final episode says, and how it says it. And it’ll be really hard. A decade of all of our lives,” the Missouri native muses to British GQ.
“John Slattery [Jon’s co-star] was saying just the other night, what would we all have done without this show? It’s changed our lives so profoundly. And of course the unspoken thing is: what are we going to do next? And no one wants to think about that.”